Sodalite (February 22nd, 2016)

Mineral Monday! And this week, we have Sodalite! The semi-precious gemstone was originally discovered in Greenland in 1811, but was not widely used until the late 1800’s when larger deposits were found in Ontario.

This particular specimen is from the Ice River Valley in the Yoho National Park, where it forms as part of a large complex of intrusive rocks (syenites). It is found in veins in the plutonic intrusion and in the country rock, filling the voids along with albite, fluorite and calcite.

The sodalite in the Ice River area is associated with deposits of lead-zinc, magnetite and nepheline (jade).

The intrusions that generate the mineral assemblage pass outside of the Park boundary, and so have been investigated by prospectors and exploration outfits since the early 1900’s, when Sodalite became popular. Despite the significant grades and volume of material, the sites have not been developed due to the local authorities reluctance to drive a road into an area so close to the National Parks – which is a good thing!

Specimen Information

Store: Pacific Museum of the Earth, University of British Columbia
Collection: UBC Geological Museum Collection
Accession #: 23217
Primary Mineral: Sodalite
Secondary Mineral: n/a
Site Locality: Ice River Valley
Location: Yoho National Park, BC
Special Features: n/a